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Tag Archives: Childcare

Defeat of Sinn Féin childcare motion is “hugely disappointing”

THE new coalition government has come under fire from a local deputy for failing to support a childcare motion that would cut fees by 66% reduction over the lifetime of the administration. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne has described the defeat of a Sinn Féin childcare motion in the Dáil last week as “hugely disappointing” and an example of the “same old politics”. If the Sinn Féin Childcare motion had passed, Deputy Wynne outlined the proposals would have seen weekly childcare fees reduced by 13% over the course of the first year and by 66% over the course of the lifetime of the government. The current average weekly cost for one child in full time childcare is €184.36, therefore a reduction of 13% would be to €160.39 per week and by 66% would be to €62.68 per week. The Sinn Féin Deputy said their motion presented the government with a chance to be ambitious to respond to the cries from childcare providers, …

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Clare childcare providers call for government reforms

AS some childcare providers in the county re-opened their doors this week, workers in the sector reveal the financial challenges they are facing as they call for funding reforms. SIPTU Organiser and Big Start Co-ordinator for Clare, Yvonne McGrath insists, “This vital service cannot be delivered on poverty pay”. The campaign is urging the incoming government to deliver on pre-election pledges to reform the early years sector and implement a new funding model that delivers for children, workers, providers and parents. Ms McGrath says, “Early years educators are eager and enthusiastic to return to work. They play an essential role in our society and parents who have struggled balancing work and looking after children have some much welcomed relief. However, the issues that existed before the lockdown have not gone away. The reality is that before the Covid-19 outbreak the sector was in the grip of a low pay and staffing crisis with the majority of workers earning below the …

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Covid Committee Chair Highlights Childcare Sector Struggle

THE plight of childcare providers coping with insurance issues and increased regulation, as they get set to re-open, was highlighted this week by Deputy Michael McNamara, Chair of the Special Committee on Covid-19 Response. The Scariff-based TD handed over the role of chair for part of last Tuesday’s hearings so that he could pose questions to sector representatives. He noted that in Clare, many childcare providers with whom he spoke during his General Election campaign flagged “huge difficulties” because of the burden of costs and administration. Deputy McNamara asserted that this was “primarily because of the Department and its policies”. On the issue of increased red-tape for the sector, the Independent TD said providers in Clare had spoken of spending long hours on paperwork. He was responding to testimony from Paula Donohoe of the Association of Childhood Professionals, who had been forced to work full-time on administration. “My favourite part of the day was the three hours I spent in the …

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Childcare at ‘Breaking Point’

MORE than 50 families in East Clare will be making alternative childcare arrangements next Wednesday, as staff of Mountshannon Childcare Centre join a protest march in Dublin demanding support for a service that staff say is “at breaking point”. The community-run facility employs 11 staff and caters for up to 70 children from a wide hinterland from Flagmount to Bodyke and as far east as Coos in County Galway. Parents and staff are appealing to Clare General Election candidates to listen to their concerns, and the centre itself has been canvassed by a number of Dáil hopefuls including Deputy Timmy Dooley and Michael McNamara. Like thousands of childcare providers nationally, the centre has joined the Early Years Alliance pre-election campaign. As part of that, it will shut its doors on February 5 to highlight a crisis created by low wages, a lack of staff, increasing costs and a challenging regulatory regime. Staff at the centre told The Champion of their …

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Emergency meeting to address West Clare childcare crisis

THE West Clare Family Resource Centre has called an emergency meeting on Monday at 7.30pm in Kilrush Community Centre, following news that West Clare Early Years has closed with the loss of 53 jobs. The headquarters are located in Glebe House, Kilrush, while there are childcare facilities also located in Lissycasey, Kilkee, Kildysart and Kilmihil. Four hundred families are now without childcare following the closure which followed a meeting of the Board of Management on Saturday. “We’ll be gathering on Monday evening to work out a campaign and call upon local and national politicians to take fast action to guarantee our children aren’t left without good quality care. Everyone is welcome to come along,” said Mary O’Donoghue, co-ordinator of the West Clare Family Resource Centre in Kilrush. “These closures are a catastrophe for families who rely on childcare, not to mention the 53 workers who have lost their jobs. First and foremost, we will be calling for reinstatement of all …

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